OECD: 2014 Annual Survey of Large Pension Funds and Public Pension Reserve Funds

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Despite the increasing interest in alternative investments, official data on pension fund investment in alternatives –and in particular infrastructure– is scarce. This report surveys individual pension funds both within and outside of the OECD that are amongst the largest in their respective country.

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The growing role of institutional investors in financial markets.

In 2013, the primary institutional investors in the OECD – pension funds, public pension reserve funds (PPRFs), mutual funds, and insurance companies – held USD 92.6 trillion in assets, a number now well above pre-crisis levels. In that same year, the combined GDP of the OECD countries was USD 47.3 trillion. In 2001, OECD institutional assets represented 1.4x GDP; this number has since grown to 2.0x GDP, highlighting the growing role of institutions as financial intermediaries. Put another way, the accumulation of savings in such financial channels has never been so large, which underscores the important role that institutions can play as sources of productive long-term capital. This function has become increasingly important during a time period in which the role of traditional financial intermediaries such as banks and their capacity to provide long-term financing is changing in the post credit crisis period. The scope of this survey covers OECD countries, some non-OECD countries, and member countries of the G20.